Ready to Return: Our Return-To-Work Tools Can Help You Safely and Successfully Reopen Your Workplace

Cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination, and ventilation of the work area is an important step in returning employees safely to the workplace.

As a result of COVID-19, it is no longer business as usual. As businesses ramp back up, employers need a plan to reopen keeping safety and productivity top of mind.

Your COVID-19 Preparedness Plan should establish the policies, practices and conditions necessary to meet the regulatory requirements where you do business.

What Your RTW Plan Should Address

The plan should include and describe how your business will implement, at a minimum, the following:

  • Infection prevention measures;
  • Prompt identification and isolation of sick workers;
  • Engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
  • Cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination, and ventilation of the work area;
  • Communications and training for managers and workers necessary to implement the plan; and
  • Provision of management and supervision necessary to ensure effective ongoing implementation of the plan.

If you are a … Read more...

Not ‘Business as Usual’: Intelex Joins the NSC SAFER Task Force to Provide Guidance for the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Intelex is joining a task force representing over 50 organizations as part of the NSC Safe Actions for Employee Return to Work (SAFER) initiative, which will issue recommendations and guidance about post-pandemic return-to-work.

After months of economic and industrial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world are either beginning to bring workers back to the physical workplace or are in the planning process. Asia and some countries in Europe have reopened factories and eased restrictions on travel, and other countries are looking to follow suit as new infection rate curves flatten.   

As organizations navigate the actual and potential return-to-work scenarios resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Safety Council (NSC) has launched an initiative to help organizations create safe workplaces. The NSC Safe Actions for Employee Return to Work (SAFER) initiative will leverage a newly formed task force of national safety and health leaders from Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, and government and medical organizations. Lending their … Read more...

Intelex Customer Success: Breaking New Ground and Finding Better Business Value

Customer Success (CS) is the most direct interaction we have with our customers, which makes the CS team a crucial contributor to providing real business and customer value.

Customer Success (CS) is a vital part of the relationship Intelex has with its customers. The goal of CS is to provide customers with the knowledge they need to be successful during initial implementation and beyond.

Customer Success manages the business relationship with the customer, prevents churn, and identifies opportunities for growth during the contract lifecycle. Therefore, CS is the most direct interaction we have with our customers, which makes the CS team a crucial contributor to providing real business and customer value.

Yet, with Customer Success being a relatively new job title that has only been around for a few years, the concept of “best practices” is still developing. This can make it difficult to make sure all the members of … Read more...

Is COVID-19 a Workplace Illness? OSHA Attempts to Clarify Recordkeeping

OSHA hopes its latest enforcement guidance helps employers focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects.

OSHA has issued interim guidance for enforcing its recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as they relate to recording cases of COVID-19.

Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is considered a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for reporting cases of COVID-19 as workplace injuries and illnesses if the case:

  • Is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness;
  • Is work-related as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  • Involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.

In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, many employers may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work, making accurate injury and illness reporting … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: Preparing the Public Information Officer

In Part Six of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” a checklist for the EHS professional provides insight into the information you might  be asked to provide in a crisis.

Depending on the magnitude of the crisis, the role of the EHS practitioner in many cases is not only to gather and report information but to anticipate what information will be asked Shot of two warehouse workers standing on stairs using a digital tablet and looking at paperwork.

The EHS practitioner likely will lead or be a big part of gathering data and producing information that will be used for communications with the public, media sources and officials affected by the crisis. In most organizations, there is a role defined as public information officer (PIO), and while various titles may be used organizationally, it is this person who serves as the public face for the organization.

The Role of the PIO

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Communicating in Crisis: Emergency Response Planning, Preparation and Training

In Part Five of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains why you should not leave crisis planning to chance.

It’s not if but when a crisis event occurs at your facility, so make sure you have planned for it and employees are trained in emergency response.

How an organization handles emergency response during a crisis – and the communications of such events – cannot be left to chance. Planning, preparation and especially, training contribute to successfully managing emergency response. So, handle these in a way that benefits you as a practitioner and the organization you represent.  

Personally, and with few exceptions, I always was totally surprised when a crisis event happened. Some were small events, others quite large and complex, but most were very unexpected. Don’t think that a crisis event might happen, because at some point, such an event will occur. Prepare employees by providing emergency … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: Government Agencies

In Part Four of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains how important it is for EHS practitioners to know and understand regulations – local, state, and federal – that require reports to be filed following an emergency situation such as an environmental spill or employee injury.

Some emergency situations require reporting to local, regional or federal agencies, which may step in to coordinate a response.

There are no “hard and fast” rules for the EHS practitioner in reporting a crisis event to government agencies. So, know the regulations required by the specific agency that has jurisdiction over your operation.

For instance, in the United States, an environmental emergency is reportable to EPA when there’s a threat that reaches a threshold limit. Likewise, OSHA has similar protocols when fatal or specifically defined injuries occur.

Understand Reporting Requirements

It is vital that you understand the reporting requirements for all government … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: Employees

In Part Three of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains how important it is for EHS practitioners to be as honest and transparent as possible when communicating to employees about a crisis situation.

Unless employees are front row center as a crisis unfolds, it’s a safe bet that only versions of the truth are being shared with them by coworkers.

First and foremost, it is paramount during a crisis that the EHS practitioner and the management team be as upfront and honest as possible with employees. This does not mean the organization is admitting fault or taking the blame, but is communicating what is known as truth at the time the crisis is occurring. Unless employees were front row center as the crisis unfolded, it’s a safe bet that only versions of the truth are being shared with various fabrications of the facts crafting a new storyline as … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: The Role of EHS in Managing Communication

In Part Two of the series “Communicating in Crisis,” Scott Gaddis explains the role of the EHS function in gathering information to help the organization make informed decisions as part of crisis management efforts. Read Part One, “Communicating in Crisis: The Role of the EHS Practitioner.”

The EHS function often plays a role in internal and external communication during crisis management.

The EHS practitioner is likely to work along several paths in dealing with and communicating in a crisis.  In an emergency, the practitioner has multiple audiences that will need to be informed including employees, senior management and government agencies. The media and the public also are a consideration, but usually with the idea of supporting that activity with data that will be shared externally by others.    

It is imperative to gather as much information as you can about what happened. Taking for granted that people have … Read more...

Communicating in Crisis: The Role of the EHS Practitioner

How you manage crisis events impacts their lasting effect on employees, the business, the community and your value as an EHS practitioner.

It’s a safe assumption that you will face a situation at some point, either manmade or natural, in which the need for effective crisis communication is likely.  

Crisis communication for the EHS practitioner is a necessary skill to master and should be part of your skills toolbox. Whether you are a staff-level specialist, leading a program or working within a defined incident command system, there is a need to be able to actively listen, gather and analyze information and deliver credible communications in high-stress situations. 

Granted, and I would venture a guess that this is true for most of us, there are organizational policies that dictate specifically who speaks in crisis and who does not. At least for me – and for most of my career it was … Read more...